I've been enjoying shaping widepoint back longboards lately, and rather than getting tired of them, I just keep liking them more.
Anyways, for this newest board I wanted to try something a little smaller for chunky beachbreak manuverability, but with a truer pig sensibility - low rocker, belly throughout, no hard edged rails, no nose concavey stuff.
I had an 8'9Y blank from USBlanks, and was playing around with my pig template on it for an afternoon or two while I visualized it. I mentioned it to Bill Thrailkill, as I was thinking alot about square tail dimensions for a chunky beachbreak pig, and he suggested 8'4 x 22 with a 7 inch square tail. His recommendations were spot on! I love this board! I couldnt quite make the template lines work for a true 22" width, but aiming for that helped pare me down from the 23" hips my template would have created. I popped my nose a little wider than the original 16" nose in the template, and the lines let me get to 17.5 in the nose while still keeping a pretty substantial hip curve. Rocker is about 3.25 front and back. I measure this by continuing the true rocker curve out to my ruler, rather than measuring the little flippy up nose I made in the last 1/2" of the board.
While I was at it, I tried out my first wood tailblock, fabric inlay, and resin pinline well. My feeling in these early boards (this is number 11) is that I'd rather get all my mistakes out early in all phases of construction and learn as much as I can.
For the tailblock I used two pieces of 1/4" Walnut capping a 3/4" strip of ply that accompanied my grandfather's tablesaw when I inherited it.
The nose inlay I used some cotton with a cowboy print in honor of Dale Velzy and his pig concept that has brought me so much joy. I put a 1/4" resin pinline concealing the edge of the fabric. As my skills improve 1/4" will be embarrasingly wide, but for now it is what it is.
I glassed the board with two layers of 6 on the deck and one layer of 6 on the bottom, with an extra fin patch and extra deck patch. I grew up without money for boards and I like my stuff to last. I prefer cut laps to free laps. The small bit of exra taping time saves me a ton of time later; I'm sure my free laps are unskilled and messy and an expert would not have this issue. For me, no contest.
I finished the board yesterday and got it out this morning. I love it! The board is super responsive from the tail, paddles and catches waves well, and excels in that classic style of take off, quick bottom turn to a high line, step ahead of the hips and ride out the line.
I was struck by Bill Thrailkill's advice to keep the true rolled bottom throughout. Despite being only an 8'4 and me being 6'1 and right around 200lbs, the board let me walk forward easily and was quite solid and predictable. That convex belly plus 50/50 rail action and it's effect of holding the board's tail down when I went forward was dramatic and noticeable compared to my previous board, a much larger 9'0 with nose concave and hard edged and boxed rails in the tail. Fascinating to read the concepts then feel them work.
Anyways, the board goes, and this was in garbage LA summer beachbreak as the wind was hitting it. I had one small peak to work with and it was enough to feel out the board before it was family time. Bill, thanks as always for the advice! This one is likely to be my daily driver for a bit!